Sunburn

By
Home Inspector with JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC HOI 394
https://activerain.com/droplet/f9j

That sunburns gotta hurtWe learn as children the power of the sun to burn our skin. Early in the summer, skin pasty white from under the cover of winter clothes, we are ripe for broiling. Looking like little ghosts, we head out into the warm and inviting sunlight, barely covered or almost bare, merrily running around while the invisible rays slowly cook our unprotected skin.

Sun melted plastic window frames on a front doorThe power of the sun also has an affect on our homes. Besides water, it is the other element that is detrimental not only to the exterior, but to the interior as well. Fabrics fade from extended exposure to sunlight, furniture and floors too. There are instances where the sun can align with another component, most particularly windows, to create a "perfect storm".

Glass can intensify the sun's beam, either reflecting it, focusing it or both. When a ray of light concentrated through the storm door glass shines on to the exterior door, melting can occur. The plastic trim on this door from a recent inspection looks almost like a scene from a Salvador Dali painting.

Sun reflecting off a windowUpon reflection or because of it, vinyl siding has been found to melt. Newer low E energy saving window glass has a dark side that has been coming to light as homeowners replace their old windows. At certain times of the year, mostly the winter, the sun's light can be reflected off the window glass in an intensified beam onto a neighboring house. If that home happens to have vinyl siding, once again melting can and does occur.

What is clearly apparent, at least to me, is the melting only happens with plastics. Plastic is in some ways almost like wax, you heat it enough it will melt. Which is one of the great and desirable properties of plastic, it can be molded into infinite shapes. Unfortunately vinyl, which is used for numerous products in our homes, has a low melting point.Sunlight reflections from windows onto a house

As the building products industry constantly strives to come up with new and better products for our homes, the sun sits in the sky, waiting to fry someone's new and improved front door.

The battle wages on.

 

 

James Quarello
Connecticut Home Inspector
2010 - 2011 SNEC-ASHI President
NRSB #8SS0022
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

To find out more about our other high tech services we offer in Connecticut click on the links below:

Learn more about our Infrared Thermal Imaging & Diagnostics services. Learn more about our home energy audits, the Home Energy Tune uP®.

Serving the Connecticut Counties of Fairfield, Hartford, Middlesex, New Haven, Southern Litchfield and Western New London.

Posted by

James Quarello
Connecticut Home Inspector
Former SNEC-ASHI President
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

 ASHI Certified Inspector

To find out more about our other high tech services we offer in Connecticut click on the links below:

Learn more about our Infrared Thermal Imaging & Diagnostics services.

Serving the Connecticut Counties of Fairfield, Hartford, Middlesex, New Haven, Southern Litchfield and Western New London.

close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
Connecticut New Haven County
Groups:
Almost Anything Goes
"Whacked"!!!
Blogs Happen...
Bananatude
WeBlog Anything (almost)!
Tags:
home inspections in connecticut ct
intensified sunlight melting doors and siding in connecticut ct

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
1,244,530
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

James,

I am hoping that Nutsy got that one wrong. That would be way too weird.

Jul 17, 2011 05:16 AM #9
Rainmaker
683,909
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Andrea, Wood is good, it doesn't melt :)

Mike, Yes the siding warps after a short time. The siding on the house pictures was very wavy.

Eileen, Seems vinyl siding might have some problems down your way :)

Dan, Thanks.

Charlie, I wasn't aware of that, but it makes sense.

Nutsy, Silly squirrel, I did sneak it, but we both know it's a picture of you from that time you we down in Mexico.

Ingri, Thanks, that is very nice of you to say.

Peg, Far as I know insurance doesn't cover it. The door was taken on a condo unit I was inspecting. Believe it or not no one noticed it until I pointed it out.

Steve, See my answer to the weird one above.

Jul 18, 2011 12:04 AM #10
Rainmaker
1,843,015
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Ha!  How often do we see siding melted by someone's grill?  I once saw siding melted by the windows of the house next door!  Heat happens.

I've seen the bumper stickers...

Jul 18, 2011 12:12 AM #11
Rainmaker
1,843,015
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

P.s.  That looks like a terrible burn you got up there.  I am going to VA Beach this Thursday (my family today).  I will remember your photo and put on some sunscreen.

Thanks for the reminder.

Jul 18, 2011 12:13 AM #12
Rainer
403,611
Jeremy Wrenn
Winslow Homes - Youngsville, NC
C.O.O., Winslow Homes

James, your article brings another reason to light that I do not like vinly siding:  melting!  That stuff is so thin and cheap, and melts so easily!

And I've seen that with the windows as well, refocusing the sun's light after reflecting it onto the neighbor's house.  I think they've come up with a diffusing glass recently, but have not confirmed that.

Jul 18, 2011 03:40 AM #13
Rainmaker
809,907
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA

James:

WOW.  It must have very hot that day to effect the door molding that way.   Wood is beautiful and doesn't melt.

Jul 18, 2011 09:13 AM #14
Rainmaker
743,615
Robert Hammerstein
Keller Williams Valley Realty - Hillsdale, NJ
Bergen County NJ Real Estate

Jim - this post made me hotter than I already am. Good information though and thanks for sharing this. I learn something new everyday here.

Jul 18, 2011 09:20 AM #15
Rainmaker
78,632
Grant Hickman
Grant Hickman Real Estate Advisors - Saint Charles, MO
Saint Charles Real Estate Pro

James, thanks for bringing this topic "to light" (pardon the pun).  This goes back to the age old debate of quality vs. cost.  When helping clients find the house they want, we need to consider all the angles, even if it's in relation to the home next door.

Jul 18, 2011 09:47 AM #16
Rainmaker
481,997
Bruce Kunz
C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100 - Howell, NJ
REALTORĀ®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale

Hi James. I'd not noticed the reflected light could do so much damage!  Can't wait to hear of the first lawsuit against someone who replaced their windows...
Thanks for sharing,
Bruce

Jul 18, 2011 10:45 AM #17
Rainer
178,712
Rosalie Evans
Meritus Group Real Estate - Sioux Falls, SD
The Evans Group, Sioux Falls, SD Homes For Sale

Ouch that sunburn hurts just looking at it! Reminds me of what happened to me one summer when I did de-tasselling all it needs is a little corn rash on top! I have since found out that if your sunburnt like that, that putting Braggs apple cider vinegar on top of it will take away all of the sting and prevent you from the worst of the peeling and blistering. We just had on the news a story about the concrete in the streets buckling due to heat! Its amazing how much damage the sun can do! Wish we could wave this heat wave goodbye!!

Jul 18, 2011 12:32 PM #18
Rainmaker
544,156
Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, RealtorsĀ®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519

Nothing I hate more than a sunburn. I went to Florida in late June when I was 20 and fell asleep on the beach. It didn't turn out well.

Jul 18, 2011 02:31 PM #19
Rainmaker
798,953
Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate
Kelly Right Real Estate - Hood River, OR
Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs

Thanks for the heads up on possible damage by the sun, something most of us probably don't think of often enough.

Gretchen

Jul 18, 2011 02:40 PM #20
Rainmaker
233,461
Reuben Saltzman
Structure Tech Home Inspections - Minneapolis, MN
Delivering the Unbiased Truth.

When I first told my wife about this phenomenon, she said "you better not repeat that to any of your clients.  They're gonna think you're crazy."

Jul 18, 2011 10:06 PM #21
Rainmaker
908,388
Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

Wow, that's crazy, vinyl siding melting in New England. LOL I guess that's why in SoCal we have stucco for exteriors and not vinyl siding. Paint will fade quickly, so it's better to have light colors on exteriors rather than dark colors, where fading is more noticeable. Low E windows are a blessing when it comes to lowering AC costs in the summer, but who would've thought they could do damage to a neighbor's home? I'm just amazed. Great information in your post,

Jul 19, 2011 06:53 PM #22
Rainmaker
683,909
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Jay, Saw the melted siding behind the grill just yesterday. I have seen the window reflection a few times. And yes, don't forget your sunscreen or someone may mistake you for a lobster.

Jeremy, Diffusing glass? I will be on the look out for more info.

Evelyn, It really has little to do with the outside temps, the light is intensified like through a magnifying glass.

Robert, Thanks. AR is a super place for learning.

Grant, I first learned of this through a customer who experienced it on their home. No one knew about the angle.

Bruce, You know that is coming or may have already occurred. We live in a lay the blame on someone society.

Jul 20, 2011 02:17 AM #23
Rainmaker
683,909
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Rosalie, Buckling concrete!? Now that is hot.

Eric, I fell a sleep on the beach once myself. Not fun.

Gretchen, Your welcome.

Reuben, Who's crazy now? :)

Pamela, Low E windows are fantastic, but as you see not always for the neighbors.

Jul 20, 2011 02:34 AM #24
Rainer
55,780
Peter Schattenfield
Turning Point Estate Services LLC - Wilton, CT
Estate Dissolution and Preparation (203)388-8092 CT.

James, I recently replaced windows with vinyl. Fortunately i am pretty treed in so I have a good deal of sun block.

Jul 20, 2011 02:58 AM #25
Rainmaker
683,909
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Peter, No need to worry, its your neighbors who should be concerned :)

Jul 20, 2011 03:30 AM #26
Ambassador
533,485
Jason Sardi
Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina - Charlotte, NC
Your Agent for Life

James - Give me adobe or give me death.  And if you got central air for sale, perhaps that will stop my eyelids from sweating.

 

Jul 20, 2011 04:36 PM #27
Rainmaker
683,909
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Jason, The eyelid sweats are the least of my worries. Regions further south are sticky and uncomfortable :)

Jul 22, 2011 01:19 PM #28
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?

Rainmaker
683,909

James Quarello

Connecticut Home Inspector
Ask me a question
*
*
*
*
Spam prevention